My Everton #89: My Dad Playing At Goodison?

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My Everton started in 1967. I was six years old. 

My dad and his mate, Phil, told me they were playing for their work’s team in Liverpool and, being football mad, I was going to watch.

We lived in Warrington, so for a six-year-old, 25 miles felt like the longest journey in the world! When we parked up, I noticed they didn't have any kit.

“It's all ready for us at the ground,” they said. 

“Who are you playing?” I asked.

“Some rubbish team!” they replied! 

It was a long walk to the ground, but a bag of chips definitely helped.

“It's just down here,” dad said, as we turned into Gwladys Street. 

“You're playing in there?” I asked, still oblivious to what was in front of me. “Are all these people watching you?”

Still not a clue.

Now knowing we're walking down Goodison Road, I heard a loud cheer. Kick-off. With that, I was picked up and rushed into the ground. 

Three things then stood out to me and will stay with me forever: 

- How green the grass was - I’d only ever watched the games on tele - a black and white one at that.

- The players were massive!

- My dad definitely wasn't playing. 

We stood up against the wall in church corner and watched the game. Looking back, it was an amazing line-up from both sides. We were playing a team called Man United, with Alex Stepney, Bobby Charlton, and someone called George Best!

And there right in front of me, my hero: Alan Ball. That alone made my day. They were all there: Howard Kendall, Colin Harvey, Brian Labone. 

Alan Ball only went and scored! I said: “Told you he was the best player, Dad.”

We won 3-1 in front of a 61,000 crowd, including me, my dad and Phil.

This is where my love of Everton started, and it has never ended.

We went on to be regulars and when I was older, I became a Gwladys Street season ticket holder, too.

I later found out that my uncle played a few games for us back in the '30s, alongside the legend that is Dixie Dean.

So here I am, nearly 62, still a bluenose, and proud of it. I've had some amazing times watching Everton, and the good times will return, I'm sure.

By Stephen Fairbrother, Evertonian


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